PRX, PBS KIDS and CPB Announce Ready To Learn Podcast Accelerator
16-week Podcast Training and Development Program for Kids’ Content Creators will include funding and training for five production teams to develop on-demand audio programming for children ages 4-8
February 10, 2021
BOSTON (February 10, 2021) –– PRX, PBS KIDS, and CPB today announced the Ready To Learn Podcast Accelerator, a podcast training and development program for producers creating educational content for kids. One podcast from the training will be distributed by PBS KIDS. The program is made possible by a Ready To Learn grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
The Ready To Learn Podcast Accelerator will take place virtually over 16 weeks, from late May through September 2021, and will welcome five production teams eager to develop educational audio programming for kids ages 4-8. Through an intensive training curriculum developed by PRX and PBS KIDS, producers will be empowered to develop engaging podcasts at an exciting time, as demand for trusted, family-friendly, audio content is on the rise. The program, which aims to elevate new talent and voices, will also help participants navigate through production, build processes and skills, and provide for community among fellow creators.
Creators in the Ready To Learn Podcast Accelerator will receive:
- 16 weeks of virtual podcast training led by PRX in tandem with children’s programming experts from PBS KIDS, which will include workshops, webinars and intensive sessions focusing on concept development, audience and community engagement, production values, and more;
- Regular feedback on all aspects of production, from editorial content to technical production, as creators will be guided through the development of a pilot episode and production plan;
- $10,000 in funding to assist with production and operational expenses, as well as reimbursement for travel-related expenses; and,
- Access to and representation on PRX’s industry-leading podcast distribution and advertising platforms.
Participants in the accelerator program may also have their pilot podcasts selected for distribution on PBS KIDS digital platforms. Following the training period, PBS KIDS plans to commission more content from one of the participating podcast teams.
Applications are open to creative production teams with a demonstrated level of interest in children’s storytelling and education media. Independent production teams, public media station teams, or teams from any media organization based in the U.S. are encouraged to submit new podcast ideas for the children’s media landscape, especially content centering on diverse voices and communities.
Content may be submitted in any genre, fiction or nonfiction, but must be guided by a framework of introducing children ages 4-8 and their families or caregivers to the world of work. This includes exposure to a variety of career and job options as well as the development of the social and emotional (SEL) and executive function, including self-awareness, social awareness, goal-setting, task persistence, and flexible thinking.
“We believe public media can, and should, be the vanguard for values and excellence in podcasting for youth and their families,” said Kerri Hoffman, CEO at PRX. “PRX is proud to play a leading role in supporting the ambition of a collaborative effort through the Ready To Learn initiative.”
“We’re thrilled at the opportunity to be able to collaborate with new talent and diverse voices through this program,” said Lesli Rotenberg, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, Children’s Media and Education, PBS. “We believe it’s critical that children see and hear themselves in PBS KIDS content, and we hope this will be a positive step forward in continuing to showcase these stories.”
“The Ready To Learn initiative has always provided opportunities to support young children’s learning on new and innovative platforms. We are pleased to partner with PRX to bring podcasting to the Ready To Learn initiative and to help parents and children learn together,” said Debra Tica Sanchez, Senior Vice President of Education and Children’s Content at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
In October 2020, PBS and CPB announced that they received a multi-year Ready To Learn grant from the U.S. Department of Education to support production of new educational content and local community engagement that equips young learners with key skills for success. The Ready To Learn Podcast Accelerator from PRX, PBS KIDS, and CPB is an important part of this work.
For more about the Ready To Learn Podcast Accelerator, visit prx.org/ready-to-learn.
PRX is a public media organization shaping the future of audio by producing and distributing content, building technology, and training talented, independent producers. With an award-winning portfolio ranging from iconic public radio programs such as The Moth Radio Hour, TED Talks Daily, This American Life, Snap Judgment, Latino USA, The Takeaway, The World, and Reveal, as well as a growing body of podcast-first productions, including the Radiotopia podcast network and the TRAX podcast network for tweens, PRX generates more than 100 million podcast downloads per month. More at PRX.org.
About PBS KIDS
PBS KIDS believes the world is full of possibilities, and so is every child. As the number one educational media brand for kids, PBS KIDS helps children ages 2-8 learn lessons that last a lifetime. Through television, digital media, and community-based programs, PBS KIDS wants children to see themselves uniquely reflected and celebrated in lovable, diverse characters who serve as positive role models, and to explore their feelings and discover new adventures along the way. Families can watch PBS KIDS anytime on the free PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and the PBS KIDS Video app, available on mobile and connected-TV devices, no subscription required. PBS KIDS’ large collection of mobile apps and pbskids.org provide accessible content, including digital games and streaming video to spark kids’ curiosity. PBS KIDS and local stations across the country support the entire ecosystem in which children learn and grow – including their teachers, parents, and community – providing resources to support children’s learning, anytime and anywhere. For more information, visit pbs.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally managed and operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services. For more information, visit cpb.org, follow us on Twitter @CPBmedia, Facebook and LinkedIn and subscribe for other updates.
The contents of this release were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. The project is funded by a Ready To Learn grant (PR/Award No. S295A200004, CFDA No. 84.295A) provided by the Department of Education to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.